Rhinoplasty derives from the Greek meaning 'nose remodelling' and as such is used to describe any cosmetic surgery on the nose, commonly called 'a nose job'. It is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the UK and involves the reshaping of the bone and cartilage at the core of the nose structure, as well as occasionally altering the surrounding tissue. Rhinoplasty can alter the size of the nose, the length, the bridge or tip and even the nostrils. Choosing to change the shape of your nose can alter the entire appearance of your face, and should therefore be given great consideration. It is always wise to be fully aware of the outcome and the attainable results, and have realistic expectations of what the surgery will produce.
There are several types of rhinoplasty surgery that can be performed. Closed approach rhinoplasty is used for lesser alterations, which are less complex. Incisions are made inside the nostril and the surgery is carried out by making changes to the surrounding bone and cartilage. For open approach rhinoplasty, incisions are once more made inside the nostril, but this time the fleshy part between the nostrils (the septum) is also cut to allow more access. Rhinoplasty surgery can be quite aggressive and bones may be broken or shaved or filed down to alter the size or shape. This explains why there is often a great deal of bruising after the procedure and the majority of patients have the look of two black eyes. Septoplasty and reduction rhinoplasty are also variations on the nose job.
Recovery and Aftercare
After the rhinoplasty procedure a small cast or splint will be applied to the nose to maintain shape and protect it. Some surgeons decide against putting dressings inside the nose, as this can cause great discomfort to the patient. Patients tend to be discharged on the same day but may stay overnight, and must return in 7-10 days to have the dressings removed. In that time the dressings must not get wet and it is advisable to take things easy. Due to the appearance of bruising you may wish to take one or more weeks off work and your usual day-to-day activities should be postponed. A feeling of having a heavy cold is often reported for the first two weeks after surgery, and although the nose may appear to heal with 6-8 weeks, it can take up to 18 months to fully appreciate the extent of the surgery.
Rhinoplasty can be available on the NHS if the shape of your nose is interfering with your breathing, and it is best to discuss your options with your GP and ask for a referral if this is the case. Otherwise, many private clinics offer or specialise in rhinoplasty surgery, and you can expect to pay between £3000 and £7000 for a procedure.